May 2020
AAVMC Adapting for Success in a Pandemic Changed World
The AAVMC continues to adapt to an operating environment radically altered by the pandemic emergency. With the exception of pandemic-forced cancellation of the 2020 Veterinary Educator Collaborative (VEC) and the National Veterinary Scholars Symposium (NVSS), routine programs and services are functioning as normal. The AAVMC has also been monitoring the federal government response to the economic impacts of the pandemic emergency, advocating for members and sharing that information with stakeholders. Please see related story on VMCAS below, including a letter AAVMC CEO Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe shared with applicants. View letter here. Learn more.
2020 National Veterinary Scholars Program (NVSS) Cancelled and AAVMC to Offer Virtual Veterinary Scholars Symposium
The AAVMC has cancelled the 2020 National Veterinary Scholars Symposium (NVSS) originally scheduled for July 31 – August 2 at University of California San Diego. Public health and safety concerns associated with the COVID-19 pandemic have negated our ability to proceed with an in-person meeting this summer. This summer the AAVMC, with support from Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health, will be offering a virtual Veterinary Scholars Symposium. Additional information on this summer’s virtual Veterinary Scholars Symposium will be available over the next few weeks and the next NVSS will be hosted by Iowa State University in 2021. Questions about these events can be sent to Dr. Caroline Cantner Learn more.
AAVMC Working with Members to Keep Application Cycle on Track During Pandemic Emergency
Applying to veterinary medical school can be stressful and challenging under normal circumstances, but uncertainties and disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic can take it to another level. The AAVMC has been working closely with member institutions to adjust, track changes and keep applicants informed during these unnerving times. So far, everything related to the Veterinary Medical Application Service (VMCAS) cycle remains on track and on schedule. The AAVMC has gathered data from institutions on pandemic related updates to their admission policies. That data is available here and is frequently updated. The AAVMC has also ramped up the number of online VMCAS webinars to better assist applicants. Learn more.
Assessing Expertise in Wellbeing: Recommended Guidelines
Modern medical education has become something of a “pressure-cooker” for a variety of reasons, and those conditions have been magnified by the global pandemic emergency. Just about everyone on campus - from administrators and faculty to professional staff and students - now understands the importance of wellbeing. True community wellbeing is often the result of intentional behaviors and strategic actions, according to AAVMC Director for Wellbeing Makenzie Peterson. Effective support systems and sustainable organizational cultures generally don’t evolve on their own in stressful operating environments. As a result, many member institutions are now investing in wellbeing program development. Some have hired professional staff or arranged for stronger connections with their current university resources; others are attempting to present guest speakers and informational programs. Peterson has developed a brief document to help member institutions make the best decisions when searching for wellbeing experts. Wellbeing is grounded in academic discipline and it is strongly encouraged that groups be as thoughtful about wellbeing expertise as they would for any other topic in academia. Learn more.
Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program Awards $630,000 to 315 Students
Zoetis has awarded $630,000 in scholarship funds to 315 second and third-year veterinary students at 33 colleges of veterinary medicine through the Zoetis Veterinary Student Scholarship Program for 2020. Each scholarship award is valued at $2,000. The AAVMC has again partnered with Zoetis in the administration of the program. Now in its eleventh academic year, the Program has awarded $7.3 million, helping to offset education expenses for more than 3,600 veterinary students. More than 1,200 applicants from universities throughout the United States and Caribbean were evaluated for academic excellence, financial need, diversity, leadership and career interest. Learn more.
University of Kentucky Student Wins Pre-Vet Leadership Award
University of Kentucky student Sam Johnson, from Louisville, has won the AAVMC’s 2020 Pre-Veterinary Leadership Award. The award recognizes a pre-veterinary student who has demonstrated leadership ability, impacted their local pre-veterinary community (through their pre-vet club, society or association) and has advanced diversity and inclusion efforts within the pre-vet club. “Sam has worked very hard at both the local and the national level, and we’re delighted to be able to recognize the important contributions he’s made to the profession through this award,” said the AAVMC’s Director for Admissions and Recruitment Affairs Diana Dabdub. Johnson served as both the president of the University of Kentucky Pre-Vet Club and the national American Pre-Veterinary Medical Association (APVMA). Learn more.
CAST Issue Paper Examines Shortage of Food Animal Veterinarians
Food animal veterinarians play an essential role in the production and security of the nation’s food supply. They help protect the economy from the impact of foreign animal disease outbreaks and the public from zoonotic infectious diseases. But despite this critical role, it remains a chronically underserved area of the profession. A recent issue paper produced by the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology (CAST) entitled " Impact of Recruitment and Retention of Food Animal Veterinarians on the U.S. Food Supply" explores the nature of the shortage and some ideas for addressing it. The AAVMC helped support the production of the work. Learn more.
New SoAR Foundation Report Details Benefit, Need for Agricultural Research
A new report published by the Supporters of Agricultural Research (SoAR) Foundation illustrates how federally funded agricultural research generates major economic benefits that extend for decades. The AAVMC is a partner and supporter of the SoAR Foundation, which is working to educate stakeholders about the importance of agricultural research. The SoAR Foundation works to achieve full funding for the Agriculture Food and Research Initiative (AFRI), the nation’s leading competitive grants program for agriculture. In the 1940s, almost 40% of American research and development spending was focused on agriculture. Today, agriculture research only accounts for 2% of federal research and development spending. The new report, Innovation to Profit, can be found here. Learn more.
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